NAREB Brings Black Wealth Tour Event to Charlotte

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) National Black Wealth Tour will hold its Charlotte Crown Community Day on Saturday, March 2, starting at 9 a.m. at Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., Charlotte, NC 28202. The event, including festive youth activities, will help empower the city’s Black communities with steps towards homeownership, property investment, credit building, and other wealth-building opportunities. 

Working with the National Bar Association, African American Mayors Association, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the event will include classes, workshops, and one-on-one counseling on homebuying, investing, credit, and careers in real estate. The event aims to give Black residents the information they need to build wealth.

“Building and creating wealth is a crucial aspect of financial stability and success for Black individuals, families, and communities,” said Tikola McCree, President of the Charlotte Crown Chapter of NAREB. “The importance of building Black wealth goes beyond individual prosperity; it has an integral role in addressing systemic racism and achieving racial equity. From slavery to segregation, redlining, and discrimination in employment and housing, Black wealth has been consistently suppressed and hindered.”

The event is critical to NAREB’s campaign to bolster Black wealth across America.  At the event, there will be one-on-one counseling with NAREB members (Realtists), lawyers, housing counselors, and lenders, such as Wells Fargo. Specifically, there will be sessions entitled:

There will be professional speakers and experts in the field of housing that can answer questions related to home ownership, credit score building, and more. Beyond the workshops, there will be a resource fair featuring local lenders. Registration and more information are at Speakers include Ms. McCree, NAREB President Courtney Johnson Rose, Alpha Phi Alpha Southern Regional Vice President Dr. Cecil E. Howard, and Craig Worsham, Director of NAREB’s faith-based outreach.

“NAREB has learned there are more than two million mortgage-ready Black Americans across the United States,” said Dr. Rose. “These families and individuals have the credit and income to qualify for a home mortgage. The NAREB Building Black Wealth Tour will go to communities like Charlotte and find these families and individuals, educate them, and inspire them to become homeowners and build wealth.” 

The history of Black homeownership in Charlotte is fraught with barriers erected by systemic racism and discriminatory practices. Historically, redlining—the systematic denial of various services to residents of specific areas based on race—has left an indelible mark on the city’s landscape. In Charlotte, maps once designated “risky” neighborhoods, primarily inhabited by Black families, didn’t receive access to mortgage lending and insurance in the middle of the 20th century when discriminatory housing policies were rampant.  Many of these same neighborhoods still suffer today from the lack of investment. During the Jim Crow era, Blacks were denied access to mortgage loans and redlined neighborhoods, making it nearly impossible for them to purchase homes in desirable areas. Discriminatory lending practices such as “steering” and “blockbusting” further hindered Black homeownership.

Today, the homeownership rate among White households in Mecklenburg County is 68%, compared to 43% for Black households. A 2022 Zillow analysis of Housing and Mortgage Disclosure Act data found that Black homebuyers in North Carolina were twice as likely to be denied mortgage loans as White homebuyers.

Charlotte’s rapid economic growth has increased property values, but this uptick in housing costs has priced out many potential Black homeowners. Gentrification in traditionally Black neighborhoods has exacerbated the problem as newer, more expensive developments displace long-time residents who can no longer afford to live in their communities.

Despite high interest rates, home prices in Charlotte are surpassing historic highs.  Two years ago, the region’s average home sales price was about $460,000, nearly a 20% increase over the previous year.  The inventory of affordable homes in Charlotte does not meet demand, especially among low-to-moderate-income families. This scarcity of affordable homes can be attributed to zoning laws favoring single-family homes over multifamily dwellings and insufficient investment in affordable housing developments.

While fair housing laws ended some discriminatory policies and practices, Charlotte’s Black homeownership rate remains significantly lower than White households. One major challenge faced by the Black community is the persistent racial wealth gap, which impacts the ability of potential buyers to save for down payments and qualify for mortgage loans.  Other barriers, such as income inequality, lack of access to affordable housing, and discrimination in the real estate market, also contribute to the low homeownership rates among Black households.

Homeownership plays a crucial role in building wealth and achieving economic stability, not just for individuals but also for entire communities. It allows families to create equity, improve credit scores, and pass wealth down to future generations. When Black families and individuals are denied access to homeownership opportunities, it perpetuates the cycle of poverty and further widens the racial wealth gap.

It is crucial to address underlying issues such as discrimination and income inequality and promote equal access to homeownership opportunities for everyone. With the proper measures and policies, Charlotte can work towards increasing Black homeownership and creating fair and equitable communities. 

That is why NAREB is taking action.  The Black Wealth Tour will host community wealth events in more than 100 over the next two years.  

“We can make a difference,” said NAREB President Dr. Rose.  “By arming families with the information they need to make wealth-building decisions, we empower them and their communities to travel paths that will better secure their future.”